Runaway train set to derail BHP earnings

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 23-Jan-19

BHP has advised that it produced 135 million tonnes of iron ore in the first half of 2018-19, with output falling by four million tonnes due to a train derailment in the Pilbara in early November. BHP’s copper output in turn was affected by problems at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia and the Spencer mine in Chile. Shaw & Partners says BHP can still meet its full-guidance provided it has a strong second half. BHP shares closed 1.3 per cent lower at $32.77 on 22 January.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, ORD MINNETT GROUP LIMITED

BHP and BlueScope to sink local crews after 17 years

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 17 : 16-Jan-19

The Maritime Union of Australia has criticised BHP and BlueScope Steel for opting against renewing contracts to charter two iron ore bulk carriers. The vessels are used to ship iron ore from BHP’s mines in the Pilbara to BlueScope’s Port Kembla steelworks; a BHP spokesman says the contracts are a legacy of BlueScope’s spin-off in 2002. The ships were the last two iron ore vessels to be manned by Australian crews. The MUA says the crews will be replaced by low-paid foreign workers.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, TEEKAY SHIPPING CORPORATION

Fortescue could benefit from Rio’s port blaze

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 19 : 15-Jan-19

Lower-grade iron ore is currently trading at a discount of about 27 per cent to the benchmark price, compared with 45 per cent a year ago. Peter O’Connor of Shaw & Partners says the discount may narrow further in the wake of a fire at the port of Cape Lambert in Western Australia. Rio Tinto ships about 30 million tonnes of lower-grade iron ore via Cape Lambert, and while it still assessing the damage, it has declared force majeure over shipments from the port. Fortescue Metals Group ships some 170 million tonnes of lower-grade iron ore each year.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

BHP silent on reports driver of runaway 268-car iron ore train in Pilbara is pursuing claim of unfair dismissal

Original article by Stuart McKinnon
The West Australian – Page: Online : 11-Jan-19

BHP has advised that the train driver who was in charge of a Pilbara iron ore train that had to be derailed in November no longer works for the company. However, the resources group has declined to comment on reports that the driver intends to pursue an unfair dismissal case. BHP has indicated that mechanical failure and human error contributed to the incident in which it was forced to deliberately derail the train after it travelled for 50 minutes without a driver.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

No cost surge as Pilbara’s big three plan builds

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 7-Jan-19

NRW Holdings CEO Jules Pemberton says the current iron ore mine construction activity in the Pilbara is different to the boom of 2011-2013. He notes that the new mines being developed by BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group are to replace existing mines rather than to expand output. Pemberton adds that there are also no signs of an increase in labour costs or a skills shortage in the Pilbara. NRW was recently awarded a $57m contract for work on Fortescue’s Eliwana iron ore mine; the mining and civil contractor is also undertaking work on BHP’s South Flank mine.

CORPORATES
NRW HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NWH, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, GOLDING CONTRACTORS PTY LTD

Flinders’ plan to delist angers small holders

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 29 : 14-Dec-18

Shares in Flinders Mines were placed in a trading halt on 13 December, after the iron ore producer flagged plans to delist. Chairman Neil Warburton says Flinders’ board considered a number of options for its iron ore project in the Pilbara and felt that going private is the best strategy, as it will allow the company to gain funding from private equity firms and other funds that invest in such projects. The delisting proposal has the support of its major shareholder, Todd Corporation.

CORPORATES
FLINDERS MINES LIMITED – ASX FMS, TODD CORPORATION, BBI INVESTMENT GROUP

Rio approves $3.5bn Pilbara iron ore mine

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 21 : 30-Nov-18

Rio Tinto has advised that annual production at its new Koodaideri mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara will be 43 million tonnes, compared with previous expectations of 40 million tonnes. There is also scope to increase output by 27 million tonnes in the second phase of the project. The cost of developing Koodaideri has risen by $US400m to $US2.6bn ($A3.5bn) since the initial feasibility study estimate was released two years ago. Production is slated to commence in 20201.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Sentiment turns for Fortescue

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 19 : 29-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group expects to benefit from the recent decline in Chinese steel producers’ margins. Danny Goeman, the pure-play iron ore miner’s director of sales and marketing, notes that lower margins in the sector tend to boost demand for lower-grade iron ore, adding that this trend has occurred in recent days. The renewed demand for lower-grade ore has coincided with the first shipment of Fortescue’s higher-grade West Pilbara fines product, which is slated for December.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Twiggy’s hydrogen kickstart

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 23-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the iron ore miner is keen to be involved in the development of hydrogen as a low-emissions fuel. Fortescue and the CSIRO have signed a $20 million agreement to develop and commercialise CSIRO technology that extracts pure hydrogen from ammonia. Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota are all developing hydrogen-powered cars. Forrest has described hydrogen fuel as an "energy revolution".

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CSIRO, MERCEDES-BENZ AG, HONDA MOTOR CORPORATION, HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY LIMITED, TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, TESLA INCORPORATED

Forrest says Fortescue will embrace new energy, AI

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 16-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the pure-play iron ore miner views thermal coal as a 20th century energy source and it will only invest in "new energy". Forrest adds that Fortescue is also committed to investing in automation and artificial intelligence, and says such technology should be embraced rather than feared. Fortescue is deploying automated haulage trucks at its iron ore mines in the Pilbara. A decision on a proposed expansion of its Iron Bridge magnetite concentrate joint venture is expected by the end of 2018.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CHINA BAOWU STEEL GROUP CORPORATION LIMITED, FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION